Senator Walter Michel Introduced Legislation to Reduce the Size of Mississippi’s Legislature and the cost of operation

District 25 State Senator Walter Michel, R-Jackson, has introduced a bill to reduce by 25% the number of elected officials serving in the legislature.

“Now is a good time to address this issue. We will go through the redistricting process next year upon completion of the 2010 census and it makes sense from both a time and money-saving standpoint,” said Michel, who represents Madison and Hinds counties.

Michel’s legislation would reduce the Senate from 52 members to 40, and the House of Representatives from 122 members to 90. “This will put us more in line with our border states, which average 36 Senators and 102 House members. The reduction would save approximately $2 million a year.”

“In 1890 when our constitution was drafted, a legislator had very limited communication with constituents, and a larger legislature made sense. Now with cellular telephones, fax machines, emails and instant text-messaging, we can certainly represent a larger constituency” said Michel, who is serving his third-term.

This legislation would increase the average senate representation to approximately 75,000 constituents and House to approximately 33,000 constituents.

Michel also introduced a constitutional amendment resolution which would allow Mississippians to vote on the issue in November, 2010 if the legislature does not address the issue when the session begins in January.

Michel Press
12/2/9